Taxpayers spent more than $2 million to host the C2 Montreal conference, which costs $795 a day for admission.
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The Ministere de l’Economie contributed $750,000 to the event, while the Ministere des Affairs Municipales contributed $500,000. The federal government extended $750,000 through Economic Development Canada for Quebec regions, while the city of Montreal wrote a check for $250,000. Caisse depot et placement du Québec donated $50,500.
Government contributions represent approximately 25% of the total budget for the C2 Montreal 2023 edition, which totals approximately $9 million.
C2, which held its first conference in Quebec City in 2012, aims to be the “Davos of Creativity”. Attendance at the 2023 edition, which ends Friday, costs $795 per day (plus taxes and fees) or $1,795 for the three-day event.
Skateboarder and divorce lawyer
Nearly 100 speakers participated in this year’s C2, including skateboarder Tony Hawk, American lawyer Laura Wasser, who specializes in celebrity divorces, and Quebec professor Yoshua Bengio, a pioneer in artificial intelligence. More than 5000 people are expected to participate in this program.
The conference was organized by a non-profit organization associated with Japanese giant Hakuhodo, owner of Montreal advertising agency Sid Lee.
The Quebec government has significantly increased its subsidies to C2 Montreal in recent years. From $1 million in 2019, these have increased to $1.3 million in 2020, $1.1 million in 2021 and $1.75 million in 2022. They dropped to $1.25 million this year. . Unless Quebec decrees new payments, C2 will be entitled to the same amount next year and in 2025.
In 2020, 2021 and 2022, the organization is eligible for base grants of $1 million plus additional grants of $330,000, $110,000 and $750,000, respectively, from the Government of Quebec. Three of these years’ conferences have been delayed due to pandemics (the 2020 and 2021 editions are in virtual mode).
The exact fall is unknown
“The business activity generated by the partnership of companies at C2 Montreal has led to more than $500 million in spinoffs in Quebec,” the event site states.
“This is a pre-pandemic figure”, stated Jacques-Andre Dupont, executive chairman of C2’s board of directors.
“It’s very difficult to quantify the impact of an event like ours,” he says. […] But what I can tell you is that there is a lot of business going on in C2 this year.
For its 2017 edition, C2 claimed financial benefits of $167.5 million. A study by accounting firm PwC that arrived at this figure has been criticized for understating the value of contracts signed by Quebec companies in the wake of meetings at C2.
“If we really want to know the impact of this conference, we need to make sure that the effects taken into account are truly additive. That is: would the agreements have been concluded anyway with or without the conference? And are they not just moving activities because we are at full employment in Quebec?” says Philippe Barla, professor of economics at Université Laval.
According to him, we can also wonder about the relevance of holding an event like C2 Montreal face-to-face.
“These talks and presentations on creativity, now all on the web, generally. So do we need to shake the world? I think the conference has added value, but it may not be what it was 10 years ago,” asserted Mr. Barla.